Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered a review of the business and marketing practices of a Pennsylvania Turnpike contractor after an official was charged in a grand jury presentment that cited corruption in contract procedures.
Mr. Corbett said the Office of General Counsel would investigate Denver-based Ciber Inc. and review the business practices of other turnpike vendors identified but not charged in the March 13 presentment.
"It is imperative that vendors who perform services for the commonwealth clearly establish the integrity of their personnel and their procedures in order to demonstrate that any business relationships are in the best interest of the taxpayers of Pennsylvania," the governor said in a news release.
Charged in the presentment were former turnpike CEO Joseph Brimmeier of Ross; former state Sen. Bob Mellow, who is serving a sentence on unrelated federal corruption charges; former turnpike commissioner Mitchell Rubin; former turnpike chief operating officer George Hatalowich; and former turnpike employees Melvin Shelton and Raymond Zajicek.
Dennis Miller and Jeffrey Suzenski, executives with firms that did business with the turnpike, also were charged. Mr. Miller, a Ciber vice president, was accused by the grand jury of being "intrinsically involved" in securing $82 million in turnpike contracts by using his relationship with a turnpike official to "improperly influence the contracting process." He also was accused of having the turnpike billed for duplicate and unnecessary work.
As part of Mr. Corbett's announcement on Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said it would rebid an $8.6 million contract for information technology services that was awarded to Ciber but not fully executed.
The 85-page presentment described bid-rigging and favoritism at the turnpike that was linked to campaign contributions, personal gifts and vendor-paid junkets to places that included Las Vegas; Cozumel, Mexico; Vienna; and Budapest, Hungary.
Just days after the charges were announced, the turnpike's new CEO, Mark Compton, said he had directed the turnpike's compliance office to review every professional services contract cited in the presentment, and all current contracts awarded during the time frame of the investigation.
He also asked compliance officers to draft a memo to each professional services provider highlighting the turnpike's employee code of conduct, procurement policy and toll-free tip line.